Polyscias balfouriana (Balfour aralia, plate aralia) is a bushy shrub, native to New Guinea and Queensland Australia. The species is often grown in cultivation as an ornamental. Currently, it is listed as invasive only in Cuba, with no further information about economic and/or ecological impact provided. There is no evidence of it being naturalized in Hawai’i.
High Risk Traits:
- Grows and could spread in regions with tropical climates.
- Reported to be naturalized and possibly invasive in Cuba (no evidence from the Hawaiian Islands to date)
- Contact with leaves may cause dermatitis, and plants could possibly be toxic to animals.
- Tolerates many soil types.
- Reproduces by seeds and vegetatively by cuttings (seed set may be limited in cultivation)
- Seeds, if produced, may be dispersed by birds and other frugivorous animals.
- Tolerates regular pruning. May resprout after cutting, making mechanical control more labor intensive and possible ineffective.
Low Risk Traits:
- A commonly cultivated plant. Despite reports of invasiveness in Cuba, no negative impacts have been documented.
- Unarmed (no spines, thorns, or burrs)
- Fruit production and seed set in cultivation may be limited, and possibly absent.
- Limited or absent seed production reduces risk of accidental or long-distance dispersal.